Evolving Troop Levels In Iraq And Afghanistan

On a more sober note than my annotated version of the White House troop level chart, this shows the evolution of US policy over the past 10 years:

As you can see, there’s a quite sharp inflection point associated with President Obama’s inauguration as he set about fulfilling his campaign promise to withdraw from Iraq and beef up our presence in Afghanistan. In terms of net soldiers serving abroad in wars, that’s meant that the average scale of deployment has been higher than the Bush average. But the current trend is sharply down.